Organic food continues to attract Swiss consumers, who spent CHF360 per person on such produce in 2018, up from CHF320 the previous year. Some 56% of consumers purchase organic food products several times a week or more.
Total sales of organic food exceeded CHF3 billion ($3 billion) for the first time, announced the main organic certification label Bio Suisseexternal link on Wednesday. This is an increase of 13.3% from 2017 when the sector’s turnover was CHF2.7 billion. As with the previous year, three-quarters of the purchases were made at the large Swiss supermarket chains Migros and Coop.
The French-speaking part of Switzerland continued to be the largest contributor to the sector’s growth. While organic represents a larger market share in the German-speaking part of the country (10%), the French-speaking part experienced the largest increase from 8.8% in 2017 to 9.9% of the food market in 2018. The Italian-speaking canton of Ticino follows with organic produce representing 8.6% of food sales.
All product groups experienced growth and are increasing their market share. Fresh vegetables and fruits continue to be the most popular organic products (60% and 59% respectively.)
Organic eggs represented more than a quarter of the egg market (27.6%) while organic fresh bread captured 25.3% and organic vegetables, salad, and potatoes just over 21% (21.8%). "Organic is achieving an important market position for three product groups, and others will follow," says Bio Suisse in its press release.
Farmers are adapting to Swiss consumers’ growing appetite for organic products. At the end of 2018, 6,719 farms were producing organic according to Bio Suisse, 296 more than the previous year. Organic farming represents 15.4% of the utilised agricultural land in the country (10% in the lower lying regions, 23.6% in the mountains.)